- Donations are pouring in after a fire at a charity dogs' home killed 43 dogs
- Emergency responders and volunteers from the home saved some 150 dogs
- Police: A 15-year-old boy is being questioned on suspicion of arson
- Response by public is "absolutely overwhelming," says police officer
A suspected arson attack on a dogs' home in the northern English city of Manchester has killed 43 dogs, shocking a nation known within Europe for its devotion to pets.
Within hours of the fire breaking out Thursday evening at Manchester Dogs Home, donations began to flood in.
As of noon local time (7 a.m. E.T.) Friday, the total given by big-hearted dog lovers in more than 57,000 bite-size chunks stood at more than 561,000 pounds (more than $900,000) -- and rising by the minute.
The appeal fund set up by the local paper, the Manchester Evening News, in aid of the Manchester and Cheshire Dogs Homes charity had originally set a target of just £5,000 (about $8,100).
Even as the fire raged, police and firefighters had to urge members of the public not to endanger themselves by trying to help.
They were encouraged instead to take donations of pet food and blankets to a nearby police station.
Emergency responders and volunteers from the home managed to rescue some 150 dogs from the blaze.
Police and fire investigators are now probing the cause of the fire.
Greater Manchester Police said a 15-year-old boy arrested on suspicion of arson remained in police custody Friday for questioning.
Detective Inspector Neil Jones said the public response to the tragedy had been "absolutely overwhelming."
"One hundred and fifty dogs rescued. Thousands of pounds donated. Thank you Greater Manchester," Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service said on Twitter.
The Manchester and Cheshire Dogs Homes charity, established in 1893 to help stray dogs roaming the streets of Manchester, now covers a wider area of northwest England and cares for more than 7,000 dogs each year. More than nine in 10 are found a home, the charity says.